Sex Discrimination

Photo of female firefighter

Both Vermont law and federal law prohibit discrimination or harassment on the basis of a person’s sex. The Vermont Fair Employment Practices Act expressly prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity as well as sex, and Title VII of the US Civil Rights Act of 1964 has been interpreted to include gender identity discrimination as a form of sex discrimination.

Sex discrimination is unfavorable treatment by an employer because a person is of a particular sex. This includes treatment based on conforming to, or failing to conform to, sex-based stereotypes, as well as sexual harassment.

Examples of sex discrimination may include:

  • Requiring a worker to be of a certain sex to fill a position
  • Paying workers differently based on their sex
  • Promoting men to management positions before women with more seniority and experience
  • Assigning preferable job duties to women and not to men
  • Laying off women when men in the same position with similar experience or not as much seniority keep their jobs
  • Making comments suggesting that a person cannot do their job because of their sex

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination under the law. More detailed information is found on our Sexual Harassment page.

Equal pay

Vermont and federal law expressly prohibit paying people differently based on sex. Vermont has several additional laws designed to help minimize pay disparities between men and women:

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Workers who are pregnant or breastfeeding are entitled to workplace accommodations. See these resources for more information:

Additional resources about sex discrimination

If you believe you may be a victim of workplace harassment or discrimination on the basis of any legally protected category or categories,  find more information:

Where and how to report a complaint